Agriculture is not only affected by climate change, but also contributes to it. The Swiss Climate Strategy for Agriculture deals with the associated challenges.

According to the Swiss Federal Constitution, agriculture has the task of making a substantial contribution to the security of food supply, the conservation of natural resources, the maintenance of the cultural landscape, and the encouragement of decentralised settlement of the country.

A hilly landscape in the Swiss Central Plateau with arable fields and meadows in the foreground. The area has isolated trees, hedges and woodlands. On the horizon, there are cumulus clouds in a blue sky.
© Agroscope (Gabriela Brändle)

Over one-third of Switzerland’s land area is managed for the production of foodstuffs of plant and animal origin. This results in the emission of greenhouse gases, owing to which agriculture itself contributes to climate change. At the same time, agriculture is affected by the consequences of climate change.

The Swiss Climate Strategy for Agriculture provides an overall view of the links between climate and agriculture. It sets targets and priorities for adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. First and foremost, the strategy describes relevant production aspects such as animal husbandry, manure management, land management, energy production, site suitability and risk management. Secondly, however, it also describes the upstream (e.g. the production of fertilisers and importing of feedstuffs) and downstream sectors (e.g. the processing and distribution of foods).

Implications and Opportunities

Risks and Opportunities

Periods of sustained heat and drought pose major challenges for agricultural production. More frequent natural events can result in economic losses. Milder temperatures generally have a positive effect and offer new opportunities for cultures requiring warmth.

A corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) eats through a corn stalk.

Priority theme pests

Weeds and pests represent a potential risk for agricultural production. The control of insect pests and weeds makes a substantial contribution to the security of production of the Swiss agricultural sector.

Last modification 29.09.2023

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Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG
Agro-environmental Systems and Nutrients

Schwarzenburgstrasse 165
3003 Berne

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